Gas utilities and pipeline companies took center stage at a recent Arizona Corporation Commission meeting, explaining how they plan to ensure reliable service to customers during the winter.
Six companies -- Southwest Gas Corporation, Alliant Gas, UNS GAS Inc., Kinder Morgan-El Paso Natural Gas, Transwestern Pipeline Company and Questar Southern Trails Pipeline -- all presented plans at the commission meeting.
“The customers’ safety and services are a top priority for the commission,” Chairman Doug Little said. “We set high expectations for the utilities to show they can handle demand and that they are prepared for an emergency outage. This workshop provides us and customers with the details that help ensure safety and reliability.”
Although gas prices have been stable for the past several years, the U.S. Energy Department anticipates a colder winter in some parts of the U.S. and slightly higher prices than last year. The department also projects gas prices to be on par with pricing from 2009-2014. A warmer, drier winter is forecasted for southwestern states.
Southwest Gas representatives said that forecasts for the country as a whole may not impact their pricing or gas supply this winter. The company anticipates an average monthly bill of $51.07, compared to $54.33 last winter.
During the commission meeting, companies explained their emergency plans, including social media campaigns and how emergency teams will deal with outages. Similar commission meetings take place in which electric companies explain how they will deal with peak needs for the summer season.
Copies of the plans from each company will be posted at www.azcc.gov.